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Another Northern Ireland shooting: A return to the 'Troubles?'

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"This has got to stop and I have a direct appeal to the community to help us to do so," according to a statement issued by Hugh Orde, chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Mr. Orde's calls mirror those from politicians across Northern Ireland's political divide. Peter Robinson, leader of the hard-line pro-British Democratic Unionist Party, was adamant that the killings would not derail a process that has brought relative calm and prosperity after 30 years of conflict between pro-British Protestants and Irish Republican Roman Catholics. "Those responsible for this murderous act will not be allowed to drag our province back to the past," he said.

Local Sinn Féin legislator John O'Dowd extended his condolences to the victim's family and called the shooting "an attack on the peace process. It is wrong and it is counterproductive. … As with what happened in Antrim over the weekend we condemn it. Whoever carried out this shooting was not doing so to advance Irish republican or democratic goals. They have no strategy to deliver a United Ireland."

Some fear counterattacks by pro-British loyalist paramilitary groups. "We are staring into the abyss and I would appeal to people to pull back," Dolores Kelly, a moderate Irish nationalist SDLP lawmaker, told Sky Television.

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